The horses are stabled in loose boxes housed in American Barns. An experienced member of staff manages each barn. They oversee and are in charge of the general wellbeing of each horse in their barn and manage the allocated staff who work with them.
The barns have insulated and ventilated roofs and cavity wall insulation to ensure that the horses are protected from sudden changes in temperature and to allow a free flow of fresh air. Additionally, we have the use of an isolation barn of 16 boxes on Coombelands Farm.
2Equine Swimming Pool
An equine swimming pool is an essential facility for training racehorses. Our indoor pool, built in 1991, has proved to be an invaluable training aid for horses whose injuries would otherwise have stopped them from being exercised and can be an integral part of training regimes for specific horses.
Our pool has been most important for maintaining a basic level of fitness for horses that are recovering from injury. Ligament injuries, tendon injuries, muscle problems and stress fractures are given ‘weightless’ exercise in the pool, rather than standing in their boxes. It can also be used to revive horses up before or after a busy campaign or those that need to loosen up before exercise.
The complex is complete with two solarium booths for drying the horses and keeping their muscles warm and two enclosed sand pits for them to roll in.
3Indoor Canterway and Outside Sand School
Our indoor canterway is oval shaped and is one furlong in circumference, the sand surface is irrigated to ensure it can be used daily. It is used to warm the horses up at walk, trot and canter if necessary. Here Amanda can assess each of the horses’ and in the winter months the covered ride is invaluable for exercising in all weather conditions.
The centre of the ride is grass, housing the weighing station where the horses are weighed once a week, they are also weighed before and racing. Each horse is given a best racing weight and a weekly weigh report is produced.
This area is also used a safe, enclosed space in which to introduce the two year olds to the practice starting stalls.
We are also fortunate enough to have the use of a 60x30 meter enclosed outdoor fibre-sand school that is used to lunge and ‘back’ the yearlings when they arrive from the sales. This facility is also used for lunging and long reining the older horses as part of their physiotherapy routine.
4Round All Weather Gallop
The Round Track is seven furlongs in circumference and is used in the winter months for trot work, it is used primarily as a first canter before going on to use the other gallops. Horses canter both ways on this gallop. When going anticlockwise the downhill gradient is a good trail for Tattenham Corner at Epsom or the descent at Brighton.
5Six Furlong All Weather Gallop
This gallop is six furlongs in length and rises steeply from the start, providing excellent fitness work for the horses. It is a gallop we use extensively during the winter months for conditioning work, with each horse doing two to three canters a day to build muscle and increase stamina ready for faster work in February and March before the start of the season.
6The Valley All Weather Gallop
Our main work gallop is eight furlongs in length and rises 130 feet in the first five furlongs. Due to gradient, the horses can work on the bridle and enjoy their work. Horses can work sharply for four furlongs until the bottom of the hill or work all the way to the end of the testing eight furlong gallop. The track is 15 foot wide allowing three horses to work upsides.
To the left of The Valley gallop is a spring grass gallop and to the right a sown and watered turf gallop used at different times of the year.
7American Cambered Bend
The American Bend was created in 1988, the idea taken from the American Style Bend at Manton. Horses can gallop either way around the bend and the gradient teaches them to turn at speed and change onto the correct leg.
Mark rode dual European Mile Champion, Warning, on this bend before he ran the Breeders’ Cup Mile. In recent years, it has been instrumental in providing Amanda with her Chester Cup win with Bangalore and training Indian Lodge for when he ran in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs.
8Across The Top All Weather and Grass Gallop
A six furlong undulating all weather gallop that runs parallel to the turf gallop. This gallop provides an easier option for cantering either way but has the advantage of helping horses to get use to undulations while galloping.
We have turf and winter grass gallops. It is a straight four furlong gallop on turf taken from the Old Lewis Racecourse. This turf gallop is used mainly for the two year olds who work up here in groups over four furlongs before using the across the top gallop as a pull up area.
Coombelands is unique in the fact that we can water each one of our gallops, either with the purpose built pop up irrigation system or drag pipe facility. This is all computerised and managed from the office. We have two spring fed ponds which provide all the water that is required all year round, with a licence for 41,000ml of water per year.
10Walkway Home and Picking Ground
The horses never have to go out on the public roads as we have the facility to walk home from the main gallops within the safety of our own private grounds on a private road within the gallop area. The horses stop for a pick of grass on their way back to the stables to add interest to the diet and in order to help their digestive system.
During the summer months, Lucerne and Comfrey is cut from a specially designed area on the farm to help improve the general well being of each horse.
11Cross Country Course
Amanda’s sister Gaye has developed Coombelands cross-country course adjacent to our gallops over the last decade. Coombelands Equestrian is a cross-country schooling course which is open from January through to November and open from midday onwards. There are over one-hundred fences and the course caters for all abilities. The fences range from 2ft to 3ft 6in.
There are a number of One Day Events, Hunter Trials and clinics held throughout the year as well as a British Eventing Horse Trials with classes from BE80 to Novice held in October.
Please ‘click here’ to visit the Coombelands Equestrian website for more information.
12Show Jumping Arenas
Coombelands Equestrian also boasts an all-weather showjumping area. The 80 x 50m arena is equipped with a full set of show jumps all year round and cross-country schooling fences from November through to February. The all weather arena is open seven days a week all year round from 8.00am to 19.00pm and is available for booking in one hour slots.
Dressage arenas on grass and the all weather gallops are also available for hire. Please ‘click here’ to visit the Coombelands Equestrian website for more information.